Being able to acknowledge multiple truths in a situation can be powerful and healthy. This is especially true when it comes to our emotions because it helps us to practice self-awareness and self-acceptance. The power of “yes and…” versus “either or” thinking can also be healthy when it comes to social issues because it can allow us to find the bridges to building unity and cooperation rather than partisan politics, win-lose strategies, and dysfunction. When we listen to those we don’t agree with in order to find things we can learn from in what they are saying, rather than finding ways to exploit their words so that we can win an argument, we pave the way for peace-building solutions. We thought this article was very timely, and so we are reprinting it in its entirety below with a link to the original blog:
The Power of “Yes, and”
By Allyson Howe, MSW
As humans, we have the amazing (and sometimes confusing) ability to hold multiple truths at once. Holding two truths at once can be a powerful tactic to accept your current state as it is.
We have often been taught, or fall into, thought patterns that suggest we can only hold one truth or emotion at a time. For example, take the idea that you cannot experience happiness and sadness at the same time. However, I know that I can be happy to be talking with my family more frequently and feel deeply sad about the situation of the world around me.
There is power in allowing yourself grace and withholding judgement from your multiple truths. For this, there is the power of “Yes, and,” which allows you to accept two feelings simultaneously instead of fighting one or both.
- I can be furious with the devastation from this virus, and grateful for our community that has shown unbelievable resilience and strength.
- I can feel fear and joy.
- I can be worried and hopeful.
- I can be proud of my work and want a break from it.
Using “yes, and” thinking can help with accepting any and all emotions, allowing you to move through them without resistance or judgement. Using “yes, and” lets you more accurately describe how you are feeling and allows you to feel grounded and validated.
What are some of your “yes, ands?” Remember, as the saying goes, it’s not about feeling better; it’s about being better at feeling.
Source: Psychology Today
Allyson Howe is a Youth Engagement Specialist with the Tobacco Prevention Initiative at Jefferson County Public Health.